Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Eva Ackermann - December 6, 1982

Being Forced to Leave Budapest II

You said there were a few hundred on this barge.

A few hundred on the barge and it was the most heart breaking uh, of experiences that I remember because it was uh, a sunny day and like I said, when we came back to Budapest, to the Danube uh, on the banks of the Danube, we were congregating there and shoved into this barge. We crossed the Danube and we saw Bud...uh, Pest, that was on the Pest side, but if you uh, crossed the Danube toward Buda side, then you know that you're going toward Germany. And then we just sat there and we--it was really like when you sit in a movies. The people are just sitting there and they uh, they--it's like being uh, uh. Wait, I can't find the expression uh, anyway, we just saw that we were not going where we thought we were because when we came back, that when we thought that we were going to go home. It was just completely the other way, that we were destined for uh, Germany and that's exactly what happened. Every day we walked a certain--I don't remember how many miles really, but I think it was about--I don't remem...I really don't remember. It was a whole lot. It was so much that people started to throw away things from their knapsack because uh, it was very tough walking and every night, wherever the town was, they changed the crew...

The guards?

The guards, yeah. At that certain town new people took over and uh, we were just uh, herded like cattle really, on the road. We were walking on the road and I remember that I got so--at that point I got, I don't know if I was tired, tired or uh, just lost a little of my senses, but I remember that someone pulled me away, because there was uh, the traffic wasn't huge because these are not--we're talking about uh, forty years back and we're talking about uh, small towns, but there was--I definitely remember somebody pulling me from the path of a truck that came from the opposite direction and I really probably didn't--couldn't care less.

You don't know who pulled you away?

And I don't know, you, you know, if you were euphoric, would you say, you know, you didn't know who was next to you because first of all uh, every time we stopped and they made up food in a big uh, what would you call uh, for a few hundred people what, in the Army, what do they make? Well, this was on the outside, they made some soup. Just before it got ready we started walking, so there was just practically no food. Whatever you had in your knapsack cause I think then, uh...

[interruption in interview]

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